1. لمى الروقي (Lama al-Rouqi)
In the number one spot for top searches this year was a story about a Saudi Girl that fell in an artesian well and died. The tragic story caught the attention of the Saudi nation. No matter what country this happens in there is something about these stories of children in wells that can captivate the attention of a nation for many years.
2. رامز قرش البحر (Ramez the Sea Shark)
A comedy show called Ramez the Shark took the number 2 spot for the most searched keyword in 2014. The show centers around taking famous and well known people out on sea excursions and surprising them with a fake shark attack. Guests on the show are taken out on a boat suddenly their boat is surrounding by circling shark fins. To add to the this the boat at times begins sinking and they also have a fake motorized shark that that appears on some episodes. Even if you don’t speak Arabic this show is definitely good for a few giggles.
3. ايفون 6 (iPhone 6)
Yep that’s right the iPhone 6 was the 3rd most popular search in 2014. There was build up throughout the year for this search term and then couple of weeks before the launch there was increasing interest until it reached its peak the week of the launch September 7-13th. Interest remained at between 30 and 50% of the peak through the end of the year. More specific searches related to the keyword included inquires about the price, where to buy it in KSA, and inquires about the plus version of the Phone.
4. مسلسل صديقات العمر (Old Friends series)
During the first half of the year in 2014 the Arabic series about four female friends was a very popular search term in the Kingdom. The series focuses on the life challenges that face four young women as they move from university years into the challenges of adult life. The show can be seen on MBC1 or online at Shahid.net.
5. 2014 كاس العالم (World Cup 2014)
Saudi’s love football and 2014 was no exception. Both leading up to and during the 2014 world cup, Saudi’s across the Kingdom were searching for World Cup related search queries on Google. Some of the more popular longer tail searches included keywords related to the schedule, live online showings of the matches, and queries about individual matches.
6. 6 باب الحارة (Bab al-Hara 6)
The 6th installment of Bab al-Hara that came out during 2014 Ramadan was just as popular as the show had been in previous years. The show has come out each year during Ramadan and continues to be one of the most popular, if not the most popular Ramadan series. The series plot has change over the years but in general it centers around the events happen in a certain neighborhood in Damascus Syria during the 1930’s when the country was still under French Rule.
7. رقصة البطريق (The Penguin Dance)
It’s hard to believe but a simple childish dance caught the attention of the Arabs across Saudi Arabia. We’re not exactly sure about the origin of the dance. Various sources say it could be Finnish, Albanian, or Turkish. One thing is for certain though, the dance has become incredibly popular in the Kingdom. Also given the fact that Saudi’s are more active on YouTube than any other nation it has increased the virility of the Penguin Dance videos in the country.
8. العشق المشبوه (Suspicious Adoration)
Turkish television series are incredibly popular in many Arabic speaking countries and Saudi Arabia is no exception to this rule. 2014 saw the launch of new series Kara Para Aşk, a literal English translation would be Black Money Love but in the Arabic the name of the series was changed to العشق المشبوه (Suspicious Adoration). The series follows two main characters living their lives in different worlds when a series of events and murder draw their paths together. Unlike some other Turkrish series available to Arabic speakers this series is just available with subtitles and is not available right now with a dubbed sound track in Arabic.
9. الطائرة الماليزية (The Malaysian Airplane)
Saudi Arabia has a quite large population of Malaysian laborers so it comes as no surprise that the Malaysian Airplane disappearance caught the attention of both Malaysians and Saudis in the Kingdom. The fact that the 8th most popular search was typed in Arabic letters shows that Saudis took a deep interest in this topic.
10. 3 جدارة (“Employment Eligibility System”)
Since 2006, when the Saudization campaign was launched to increase the ratio of Saudi Arabian workers to foreign workers in jobs throughout the private sector there has been increasing interest Saudi employment throughout the kingdom. In 2014 a common search term related to this topic in Saudi Arabia was related to an eligibility system in the country, an employment initiative from the Saudi Ministry of Civil service that provides Saudis with employment help. The system provides citizens with valuable information about available job opportunities, training opportunities, and occasions to network. This system must be making an impact as it was the 10th most search keyword on Google.com.sa in 2014.
We will have to wait until next year to discover what the top Google searches for 2015 will be. One thing is almost certain for 2015, the number of searches in the Kingdom will continue to increase as more Saudi Arabians spend more time on the internet as more goods, services and information are available online.